Todd V. Wolfson

Best Sign of Old Times


One of the most distressing facts about a city that so proudly touts its state of funkified whackadoo weirdness is its lack of original motor courts and roadside motels still in operation. There are the odd flophouses here and there, but let's not go there. We can point to the twin beauts of SoCo, the Austin Motel and Hotel San José, but those have each undergone such extensive remodels as to render their status as travel courts moot. Down the road a piece, the St-Elmo-Tel sign marks the spot of an old mom-and-pop that dutifully stood at the corner of St. Elmo and South Congress until it was mowed down a few years ago. Some midcentury angel deemed to leave the sign in place, heralding days gone by, when the avenue was the yellow brick road to the violet crown.

Corner of St. Elmo & South Congress

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle